Redemption is not perfection. The redeemed must realize their imperfections. ~ John Piper
Within our journey of “perfection” over the last few days, we have covered some of the ups and downs of three of God’s most faithful servants in the Scripture. God did indeed use these men for His glory and purpose, in spite of their imperfections. So, are these teachings/examples given to us as a license to sin?
In my pondering, it is easy for me to envision Moses, David and Peter saying these words many times (I know I certainly have!)…
Romans 7:15(AMP) For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].
Do I hear an AMEN! to that?!?
We’re also told…
1 John 1:8(AMP) If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].
Paul asked a great question in his letter to the Romans…
Romans 6:1(MSG) So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving?
He then went on to answer it…
Romans 6:2(AMP) Certainly not!
Followed by more questions…
Romans 6:2-3(AMP)…How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4(AMP) We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.
Did you catch that? “…habitually live and behave in newness of life”!!!
And Paul went on…
Romans 6:5(AMP) For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].
When you see that little word “if”…pay attention. It is a very important key to life in Christ.
And Paul goes into more depth with his warnings…(I would like to encourage you to read the chapter in its entirety.)
Romans 6:12-13(AMP) Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions. Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.
Not one of these examples was given to us as a license to sin and should never be used to justify it. On the contrary. Jesus said…
Matthew 5:48(ESV) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Vines Expository Dictionary of the New Testament gives the definition of the Greek word “telos” translated to “perfect” as… complete, perfect,” from telos, “an end,” is translated “of full age”
We are “complete” in Christ. When? It follows the “if’s”.
Remember…We do not have to be “perfect” for God to use us but we do have to be faithful in the truths we have, willing to repent of the sin God reveals in our lives and available for Him to make the change.